Growing Up The Chubby Friend
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Health and Wellness

Growing Up The Chubby Friend

I was reluctant to be myself because I was constantly wondering what others thought of me. This is my journey.

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Growing Up The Chubby Friend
Mickey Bratton

Growing up, I always thought of myself as the chubby friend, mainly because I was. Stemming way back to elementary school, I didn't feel comfortable in my own skin and often compared myself to others. Most thoughts were driven by my insecurities, forcing me to dwell on them.

I became of them.

I was shy and reluctant to be myself because I caught myself constantly wondering what others thought of me. I wanted to be more than my weight. I wanted to be someone that I wasn't. My mind was tricked into thinking that image was everything.

I wanted my crush to like me so much that I even changed up my hair and wardrobe. My friends, at the time, were thin and appeared to be confident. They were able to wear shorts and tight tank-tops without a worry in the world. Seeing them prance around, lanky and all, I couldn't help but feel envious towards them.

I can remember one time during a Girl Scouts camping trip; us girls were all settled in our cots in a tent, ready for bed. They were giggling and carrying on. I eventually stopped laughing and became quiet, hoping that they would, too. I even hoped that maybe they would think that I was sleeping.

I think they did because one of the girls said something along the lines of, "Imagine Mickey wearing a shirt like that", which caused another girl to laugh. I felt so uneasy hearing that from someone that I thought was my friend. I silently cried myself to sleep that night, while trying not to miss home and my mom.

I think when I started to realize that confidence would eventually grow in me, I started to become more immune to my appearance. I needed to carry myself with more confidence, even if it was false.

Eventually, when I was in middle school, I was more conscious about my outfits and the makeup on my face. I was consumed by the idea that I needed to impress people to make myself feel good. I needed to hide my insecurities. I needed to wear clothes that hid my belly rolls.

At swimming parties, I'd be the one immediately covering up my body with a towel to prevent the attention. I felt awkward. Around my friends, I felt like I was a giant in a town of normal-sized people. I couldn't enjoy myself as much as I could have.

I even avoided pulling my hair back into a ponytail because I thought that it made my face appear more circular and chunkier.

Going into high school, I was completely obsessed with my image. I spent an unhealthy amount of time getting ready each morning. Everything had to be perfect. Every piece of food that I put into my body made me feel guilty. I felt like I kept tabs for every meal.

I wore jeans, yoga pants, or leggings because I was still uncomfortable wearing dresses and skirts up until my senior year. I wouldn't be caught without makeup on, which was stupid since I played tennis after school.

During my junior year, I talked to this guy who was thinner than me. I was back to feeling like the chubby one again. While we were talking, I felt the need to lose weight and tone up. As a matter of fact, I was so focused on slimming down that I went all the way down to 115 pounds, which is around the weight I was at the beginning of middle school.

To get to that point, I did so much cardio and used the majority of the machines at the gym almost every day. I found myself there for hours, barely relaxing at home. I didn't eat carbs and reduced my sugar intake to where I was strictly drinking chicken broth and eating avocados, salads, chicken, oatmeal, eggs, shakes, and protein bars.

I was confident in my appearance, but I was not happy.

I was too worried about my food intake and exercising that I felt like I wasn't living and fully enjoying my youth. My face was always in the camera, taking selfies and wanting to be in pictures constantly.

My senior year was when I found my place in my class. I loved being around my friends in the theater academy. They were so accepting and outgoing that I realized that was where I felt the happiest.

I didn't have to impress others for them to like me, nor did it change my mind about how I felt about myself. I accepted myself for who I was. My worries that I was once so compulsive about became no longer.

Here I am during my college years, living in acceptance. I went a whole year without weighing myself and when I did, I found that I'm close to 140 pounds. Even though I could use some toning up, I realized that the weight I gained is what I refer to as happy weight.

Because I've been on a spiritual journey since high school, I've shifted my priorities. Not saying that my priorities are balanced... because they aren't. I've focused more on my inner self as opposed to my outer self.

Learning to love myself has been a journey, but it was well worth the struggles of being insecure and uncomfortable for so long.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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